Funeral By David M. Taylor

Funeral

I attended my grandfather’s funeral
in a half-forgotten Baptist church
housed between exposed buildings
where segregation lingered like addiction.

My colleagues gave me a card and condolences,
but I only knew him from childhood
and that he was a black man who served in the Navy,
stationed in the South Pacific during WW II.

He also had a dead daughter I never met
that we weren’t allowed to talk about.

She was mentioned briefly at the service
as my family compared resumes
passing them off as his legacy.

But they didn’t say that she felt too much
humanity to remain sane
or that chaos consumed her body
long before the drugs.

This type of honesty doesn’t read well
in a family picture where everyone smiles.

I heard she once held the strength of the universe
but fell into her mind a year after I was born,
that her thoughts crippled her body
and held on like gravity.

We buried my grandfather that day,
next to his wife and daughter,
where the weeds had overgrown
their broken tombstones.

By David M. Taylor

Biography:

I teach at a community college is St. Louis, MO. My work has appeared in various magazines including Trailer Park Quarterly, The Harrow, and Anthology, as well as upcoming in Misfit Magazine. I also have three poetry chapbooks—M&Ms and Other Insignificant Poems, Two Cobras in a Ritual Dance, and Life’s Ramblings.

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